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Cooking From the Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cora, the lone woman to be anointed an "Iron Chef" in the Food Network's American version of the series, aims to translate the fast, flashy style of that high-pressure kitchen into recipes that home cooks who have similar time constraints but comparatively modest gadgets and pantries can enjoy. The results are generally pleasing and more accessible than many of the concoctions presented on TV by battling chefs. Four sections break the food into "fast," "easy," "fun," and "phenomenal" categories that are a welcome change from the traditional progression through each course and show Cora's spontaneous, easygoing yet stylish way to its best advantage. Simple variations on classics stand out, as in a Curried Broccoli Salad ("fast") and spiky, flavorful Watermelon Gazpacho ("easy") even when some recipes' placements are questionable: a silky Potato-Celery Root soup is nice, but hardly phenomenal, and beginning or busy cooks may find recipes like hand-rolled Dolmathes or sushi more frustrating and time-intensive than fun, even if friends help. Fortunately, Cora's sunny, can-do attitude and the boxed tips on ingredients and preparation sprinkled throughout will help to dispel many doubts. Home cooks will appreciate the way they expand the repertory of recipes that are upscale enough to impress company, but simple enough to encourage use throughout a busy week. Color photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

CAT CORA made television history when she became the first female Iron Chef on the Food Network in 2005. In 2006 she received the Teacher of the Year Award from Bon App�tit and was named executive chef of the magazine. She is the president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, which raises funds for emergency and
hunger-related causes. The mother of four boys, she is the author of Cooking
from the Hip
, and she recently launched the restaurants CCQ at Macy's in Costa
Mesa, California, and Kouzzina at Walt Disney World.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618729909
  • ASIN: B0019HYKXG
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,825,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For once - a cookbook living up to it's name! I am a devotee of Rachal Ray, due to the 30 minute phenom - that's about all the time I have to cook on weekdays. I tried this book because I love watching what Cat creates on Iron Chef. I have cooked 15 of the recipes so far, and all of them were extremely easy and quick to put together - and best of all - the tastes are stupendous! She really puts together interesting bold flavors in her dishes. And thankfully - none of the ingredient lists on any of the recipes are too long! My boyfriend's fav so far was the Grilled watermelon and shrimp. Mine was the Prosciutto, Pear and Blue Cheese sushi! (Her non-traditional take offs on sushi are lots of fun!) This is a great cookbook for anyone who wants recipes that look great, taste awesome, and are easy to make!
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Format: Hardcover
I have not seen Cat on "IRON CHEF",though I'd heard that she was one of the first women chefs to have won the title. I ordered this book, sight unseen, and I must say that I've been pleasantly surprised.

Here are the plusses and the minusses....

*Recipes are very easy to follow.
*Photos accompany most of the recipes.
*Recipes are easy to duplicate if a person's skill level is a bit over the "beginner level".
*Most of the recipes are easy to duplicate, such as:
~~Crepes, p.156 and 166
~~Glazed baby carrots and Dill, p. 219
~~Alma's Italian Cream Cake, p. 221
~~Endive & Honeydew & Pear Salad, p. 68
~~Asian Steak and Spinach, p.72
~~Thai Chicken Salad w/Cabbage, p. 83
~~Pasta w/ Roasted Peppers & Tomatoes,p. 88
~~Cherry Clafouti, p.97
~~Bruschetta with 3 toppings, P. 106-108
~~Classic Mojitos, P. 116
~~Chicken PotPie with Puff Pastry, p.140

The only reason I did not give this book FIVE Stars is because some (not all) of the recipes remind me of Giada's bizarre recipes from her latest book (such as Giada's Cranberry Raviolis) & that seem to have strange taste combinations, such as:
~~Rizolato (strange ingredients)
~~Shrimp and Scallop Coconut Seviche (raw fish combo)
~~Saffron Honey Roasted chicken (too sweet)
~~Over-the-Top Ahi Tuna Salad (once again, raw fish)

All in all though, I give this book 4 stars because MOST of the recipes are do-able and (for me at least) would not be hard to duplicate. Also, I like the introduction Cat gives to each Chapter, and also I liked the very handy STOCK & SAUCE recipes located at the very end.
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Format: Hardcover
Cat Cora's "Cooking from the Hip" has recipes for every kind of cook. Iron Chef Cora categorizes her recipes as:fast/easy/phenomenal/good to know. She gives essential tips on stocking the cupboard,making different kinds of vinegars and oils,and so on.

Cora has plenty of picnic-friendly dishes,such as farfalle and herb salad with peas,a parmesan,proscuitto,and arugula sandwich,along with lemonade cookies,and Asian steak&spinach salad. It shows how she lives not far from the Wine Country in a Mediterranean climate. Cora spends an entire section on sushi,making the Zoran sushi recipe in honor of her son. She discusses hashes,using salmon hash as an example. Cora is also a fan of watermelon. In her previous cookbook,she had a creative watermelon/feta salad created by her partner Jennifer. In this book,she has watermelon gazpacho.

Finally,Cora makes creative variations on well-known recipes. Her lettuce "gyros" with spicy halibut are in lettuce leaves instead of pita bread. Her "fried" chicken has crushed cornflakes instead of the usual breading.

"Cooking from the Hip" shows that hips don't lie! Bon appetit!
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Format: Hardcover
I have now reviewed cookbooks by two of the Iron Chefs (from Food Network): Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. Cat Cora has two cookbooks out; Morimoto is another Iron Chef with cookbooks on his resume. Cat Cora's recent book, "Cooking from the Hip," begins by noting the central theme (Page xii): "Every time you open the refrigerator and your cupboards and put together a meal. . .you are cooking from the hip. With this book, I'm hoping to expand your options, share a few of my tricks, and take you to a place where you feel comfortable winging it, even when guests are coming to dinner." She also emphasizes that cooking gives one an opportunity (Page xii) ". . .to connect with friends and family." Later in her Introduction, she says that (Page xiv): "These recipes are simple to make and offer lots of ideas for pulling in leftovers." I'm not so sure that some of the recipes herein are "simple to make." But, boy, there are quite a few interesting recipes.

The book is organized into four major parts: fast (for quick to make dishes), easy (recipes that are easy to make), fun (neat recipes that produce fun dishes), and phenomenal (special treats!). Finally, there is a section titled "Good to Know," which provides recipes for basic ingredients, such as chicken stock (both phenomenal and fast!) and other stocks, Aioli, Crème fraiches, balsamic reduction, roasted cherry tomatoes, and the like. Let's take a look at a few examples. . .

"Easy." Thai chicken salad with cabbage. The dressing is comprised of rice wine vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, Thai peanut sauce, sugar, and black sesame seeds. Chicken is grilled or poached or roasted. Meanwhile, slice cabbage, grate carrots. Slice scallions for garnish. Finally, shred the chicken and toss the chicken and veggies.
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